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Citroen unveils its e-C3 game-changer

By Maxine Ashford | October 19, 2023

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Priced at less than £23k and with a driving range of 199 miles, this five-door B-segment hatchback is big on style, technology and performance while still being very kind on the pocket.

Citroen has re-written the rule-book when it comes to affordable fully electric motoring with its all-new e-C3 laying down the gauntlet to rival manufacturers.

Priced at less than £23k and with a driving range of 199 miles, this five-door B-segment hatchback is big on style, technology and performance while still being very kind on the pocket.

It is the first of the fourth-generation C3 family to break cover and is completely European designed and built. 

Citroen e-c3

With the global economy still reeling from the pandemic and soaring fuel and energy prices, making the car affordable was a key objective as Citroën Global CEO, Thierry Koskas, explained at the vehicle’s unveiling in Paris this week. “Offering affordable vehicles has always been a major part of Citroën’s DNA. However, customer expectations for vehicles in the B-segment have changed, notably with the rise in popularity of SUVs and the increasing desire to drive electric in and around our cities, and it has become more challenging for European vehicle makers to meet those expectations.

“Uniquely, Citroën is daring to do exactly that with the all-new, all-electric ë-C3 for European buyers: a fresh, sharp, and comfortable B-hatch that is fully-equipped, specifically designed for and made in Europe, and extremely affordable with on-the-road prices starting from under £23,000 in the UK.”

Customers will have a choice of trims called Max, Plus and You and when it comes to sizing, the e-C3 is 4.01 metres long, 1.76 metres wide, 1.57 metres high and built on an all-new EV-native platform.

Citroen e-c3

It’s more dynamically-styled than the third-gen car it replaces and features lots of eye-catching design cues, most notably the new Citroen brand signature with the large oval logo featuring a fresh interpretation of the Citroen chevrons. This can be seen at both the front and rear of the car and special mention to the distinctive front lights featuring a unique three-level lighting signature with one vertical and two horizontal lenses that, on closer examination, resemble blades.

Citroen e-c3

Moving inside, the interior is minimalist in its layout with a tiny steering wheel and split-level dashboard spanning the width of the car. The top section is where the important ‘stuff’ is located while the bottom part resembles ‘lounge-like’ styling, according to Citroen.

Citroen e-c3

There are no traditional readouts, but instead the vital driving data is reflected onto the screen via a Head-Up Display. It looks quite smart to be honest and saves all the distraction of dials and screens behind the wheel.

The higher two trims get a driver-focused 10.25-inch infotainment screen and expect to find the likes of sat nav, smartphone connectivity, radio and plenty more besides across all models.

Powering the e-C3 is a 44kWh battery pack with 83kW/113hp electric motor and this can deliver up to 199 miles between charges (under WLTP testing) and is compatible with fast charging which takes 26 minutes to boost from 20 to 80 per cent or 4 hours, 10 minutes from a 7kW wallbox.

The e-C3 is not blisteringly quick completing the 0-62mph sprint in about 11 seconds and topping out at 84mph, but Citroen stressed this vehicle is focused more on comfort.

For that reason, it gains Citroen’s outstanding Advanced Comfort Seats that introduce extra foam for added support and, in addition, there is Citroen’s renowned Advanced Comfort Suspension to help cushion the many bumps and dips on our pitted road network.

This was another priority when designing the car as Laurence Hansen, Citroën Product and Strategy Director, explained: “Comfort is a key part of Citroën’s DNA. It’s very important to us because it’s very important to our customers. That’s why we have gone to extraordinary lengths to make the all-new ë-C3 the most comfortable car in the B-hatch segment with Citroën innovations like new versions of our Citroën Advanced Comfort Seats and – for the first time on C3 – our Citroën Advanced Comfort Suspension.” 

And there are also some innovative apps for owners to explore. The e-Routes app uses clever algorithms to calculate the route, shows the expected range at the final destination and offers information regarding live network charging facilities along the way. Then there is the e-Remote app to pre-heat, pre-cool and find the car’s location.

The cabin is spacious with room for a trio of youngsters in the back, while the boot can swallow 310 litres of goodies, a limit that can be increased further by lowering the 60:40 split-folding rear seats. There are the usual storage compartments throughout the vehicle too, including a glovebox, cubby and door pockets.

With families in mind, e-C3 boasts a comprehensive list of safety technology and driver assistance aids, including active lane departure warning system, driver attention alert, active safety brake, speed limit recognition, intelligent beam headlights and lots more besides.

With 5.6 million sales since its launch back in 2002, the C3 is a vitally important car to Citroen as it represents 29 per cent of the company’s sales across Europe. And this latest e-C3 will help make the transition towards electric motoring that little bit easier thanks to its excellent pricing and impressive range.

Although the exact dates are yet to be confirmed, deliveries of the e-C3 in the UK will be at some stage next year.

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